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7/3/17

China-US Relations: China accuses U.S. of ‘serious provocation’ as warship sails near disputed island  - by T.G.Neff and S.Denyer

China has accused the United States of staging a “serious political and military provocation” after an American warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea.

The USS Stethem, an American guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, a small landmass in the Paracel Islands chain, on Sunday, a U.S. defense official said, marking the second such operation since President Trump took office
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But China, which has enjoyed de facto control of the Paracels since expelling Vietnam in a military engagement in 1974, said the islands, which it calls the Xisha, are an “inherent part of Chinese territory.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Stethem had “trespassed” there, entering the waters “without China’s approval.”

“Its behavior has violated the Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, disrupted peace, security and order of the relevant waters and put in jeopardy the facilities and personnel on the Chinese islands, and thus constitutes a serious political and military provocation,” spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement.

Read  more: China accuses U.S. of ‘serious provocation’ as warship sails near disputed island  - The Washington Post

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